You may have noticed recently that your tooth has become more sensitive. It may even be hurting. While you may simply be dealing with a cavity, it may be worse. You may have a root infection. Once your root gets infected, you’ll need to make sure the tooth is repaired before the problem progresses. This means getting a root canal treatment.

There are a lot of misconceptions about root canal treatment. Below is more information about what root infection is, what treatment looks like, how to prevent it in the first place, and more.

What is a Root Infection?

A root infection is an infection of the pulp and root of a tooth. This generally begins with a cavity that gets worse. Tooth decay will eventually eat through the enamel and dentin of a tooth. It will then get to the pulp and infect it. At this point, a root canal will need to be performed to repair the tooth.

Symptoms of a Root Canal Infection

While you will need to visit your dentist to have them diagnose your root infection, there are some symptoms that you can look out for. These include:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bad odor
  • Swelling of the gums around the infected tooth
  • Discomfort when eating
  • Discoloration
  • Pain

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist’s office and set an appointment. Some people wait around for their next cleaning and checkup. This is a mistake. The infection won’t wait around for your next scheduled cleaning. The problem will only get worse. Catch it early. You’ll increase the likelihood of saving the tooth.

The Treatment for a Root Canal Infection

Your root canal treatment will start with the appointment you scheduled due to you having one or more of the symptoms listed above. During this appointment, your dentist will examine both the interior and exterior of your tooth. In order to examine the interior, they will perform an x-ray. They will then examine the x-ray for signs of decay and infection. Once they determine the issue has moved beyond a cavity and the infection has reached the pulp, they will schedule you for a root canal procedure.

Before the procedure starts, your dentist will use local anesthesia to ensure you don’t feel any pain. Many people are worried about the pain that occurs during a root canal. This is a myth. You’ll likely feel pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any real pain. If you do, let your dentist know and they will resolve the issue.

Your dentist will drill into your tooth and clean out the pulp. They will fill and seal the area with a rubber-like material. They will then place a filling to restore the crown of the tooth. The procedure is relatively simple and will likely only take one visit to complete.

Preventing a Root Infection

While the root canal procedure isn’t as painful as legend has it, it’s still something you want to avoid if you can. Below are a few things you can do to prevent a root infection: 

  • Go to the dentist regularly. Do you have your next appointment for a cleaning and checkup scheduled? If not, make sure you get one in the books! You should see your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. This will help them to catch decay early and treat it.
  • Take good care of your oral health. You should be brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day, every day. Take good care of your oral health and you will lessen the chances of infection.
  • Don’t wait for it to get worse. If you experience the symptoms listed above, don’t wait around for them to get worse. Seek help immediately! The longer you wait, the more the infection will spread.

What Happens if the Infection Goes Untreated?

The fear of root canal treatment is very problematic. That’s why dentists do their best to dispel the rumors of it being painful. Many people don’t seek treatment because they are scared of the procedure. The problem is, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. The infection will get worse and spread downward. If it gets bad enough, your dentist may need to extract the tooth. You also put yourself at risk of jawbone infection! For the sake of not only your tooth but also your jawbone, make sure you schedule an appointment and have the problem addressed.

Contact 24/7 Dental Today

If you are experiencing inflammation, pain, discomfort, bad breath, or any of the other symptoms of a root infection, contact 24/7 Dental today. An expert dentist will take a look and diagnose the issue.

If you don’t already have a cleaning and checkup in the books, call us! We’ll get you in the books.